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WORDS AND IMAGES : Of Shipwrecks and Lost Underwater Cities

April 29, 1993|FRANCES HALPERN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

It's no secret that some people continue to believe in the mythical underwater city of Atlantis, as well as in the mysterious disappearance of ships from the Bermuda Triangle. To solve such maritime mysteries, explorers have even spent huge sums of money. Meanwhile, there are thousands of real ships still to be discovered, in addition to real cities beneath the water just waiting to give up their secrets. Those of you excited by sea exploration and interested in learning more should enjoy "Shipwrecks, Smugglers and Maritime Mysteries" by local authors Eugene Wheeler and Robert Kallman. Now in its third printing, the book, published by Pathfinder Press of Ventura, covers two centuries of sinkings, collisions, disasters, rescues, heroism and greed. Incidentally, I have had the good fortune of hearing tales of ancient shipwrecks and sunken cities first-hand from my marine archeologist son.

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The Ojai Film Society will present the Belgian film "Toto Le Heros" at 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Ojai Playhouse. Awarded the prestigious Camera d'Or at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival, the movie tells the story of an old man, who is convinced that the joyful life he should have had was stolen from him when he and his neighbor were switched at birth during a hospital fire.

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Gold Coast Fiction Writers will hear novelist Stephanie Westphal describe how to convert a novel to a screenplay at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Carrows Restaurant, Seaward Avenue and Harbor Boulevard, Ventura. Everyone is welcome. There is a $3 fee for guests. Call 498-0968 or 683-6340.

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California Book Fair Associates of Ventura is sponsoring a huge book festival May 6-9 at the Burbank Airport Hilton Hotel and Convention Center. About 200 rare and out-of-print book dealers will display and offer for sale their books, maps, prints and literary ephemera. For details, call 643-3407.

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A variety of writing classes and one-day workshops are scheduled to begin between May 10 and 19 at the Thousand Oaks campus of Learning Tree University. The courses include screenwriting, the novel, children's books, research, self-help books, articles, writing the synopsis and getting published. Brochures are available at 1408 Thousand Oaks Blvd., or call 497-2292.

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The Swackhamer Prizes, a 1,000- to 1,500-word essay contest open to all high school students, is sponsored annually by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. This year's topic is "How can the United Nations be persuaded to adopt a Bill of Rights for future generations?" Winners will receive cash prizes and publication. The deadline is June 1. Contest rules may be available at local high schools or at the Peace Foundation, 1187 Coast Village Road, Santa Barbara, 93108.

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